Reggie McKenzie (’86)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2013 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Reginald McKenzie is a football legend, boasting a long history as both a player and executive. He currently serves as a senior personnel executive for the Miami Dolphins, following a legacy of leadership with the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders.

McKenzie, who was a Raiders draft pick and played from 1985 to 1988, rejoined the team in 2012 as the first general manager of the Oakland Raiders since Al Davis was named head coach and general manager in 1963. He was named the 2016 NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America and continued to manage the team until 2018.

Before returning to the Raiders, McKenzie spent 18 years as a member of the Green Bay Packers’ personnel department. He joined the Green Bay front office in 1994, and during his tenure, the Packers captured eight division titles, three conference championships, and won Super Bowls XXXI and XLV.

He was promoted to director of football operations in 2008 after serving 10 years as the Packers’ director of pro personnel. An NFL linebacker for seven seasons, McKenzie was promoted to director of pro personnel in May 1997.

Selected by the Raiders as a 10th-round draft pick out of UT in 1985, McKenzie became an immediate starter on defense and went on to win all-rookie honors as the Raiders went 12–4 and won the AFC West.

After four years with the Raiders, McKenzie spent two seasons with the Phoenix Cardinals (1989–90) and one year with the San Francisco 49ers (1992).

Prior to signing with the 49ers, he played with the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football (WLAF). While out of football in 1991, McKenzie spent a season as a defensive coach for Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California.

In 1993, McKenzie returned to Tennessee and served as an assistant under head coach Philip Fulmer. That year, the Volunteers appeared in the Florida Citrus Bowl and landed one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, highlighted by quarterback Peyton Manning (’97). While in Knoxville, McKenzie, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, also pursued a master’s degree in education administration.

Reggie, along with his twin brother, Raleigh, were inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.